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Old
11-20-2012, 02:44 AM
  #1001
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My girlfriend and I just booked a trip to Playa del Carmen last week. Going in January for a week. All-inclusive, gorgeous resort. Can't wait. Resort's in a nice spot. Right near the town/shops, etc and right by the ferry that takes you to Cozumel. Plan on doing that for a day as well as hitting up Xel-Ha which I cannot wait for. Might try to check out some of the ruins as well. Not to mention just some good ol' boozing and beach time. The rooms have a jacuzzi in them with alcohol dispensers in the jacuzzi. I may never come home! Haven't been to Mexico since Cancun my senior year of high school. As great as that was I anticipate this being much, much better.
it will be a great trip for you. mexico is a wonderful place to visit - i've spent a lot of time there and i love.

if you're in playa i'd definitely suggest booking at least half a day at tulum (and bring your swim suits b/c as busy as it is, you can pick your peaceful spots - the great thing about tulum is that there's a small beach where, if you wander in, the footing is totally soft sand and the water's blue and calm).

i don't know if the will work well b/c i'm trying to post right back from facebook...

but here's a photo from the little beach my sister and i found at tulum. such a great spot!



glorious!

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Old
11-20-2012, 02:59 AM
  #1002
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Nah, they're not going, just us. Still not sure where we're going yet, lots of options thrown out there. NYC, Boston, SF, Hawaii, something in Mexico like Cozumel, the Dominican... Although if we do something like Mexico or the Dominican, I might see if I can push the idea of somewhere like Santiago, Chile or Buenos Aries, Argentina, and go a bit further south


I just got glasses a few months ago, after 20+ years of AWFUL vision... no idea why I waited so long, but it's awesome finally being able to see.
i just figured out i can post my vacay photos straight from fb to here. so here are a few from chile/argentina. definitely thing about going there.

also...peru is fantastic as well.

if you have the $ to put down i'd also think about going to the galapagos/ecuador (i haven't done that yet).

if you guys have more time give serious consideration to going to south east asia (vietnam, thailand, cambodia)...much more of a hike...but better to go there when you have freedom!

china and tibet are also interesting. i spent two weeks doing the adventure tourism stuff in costa rica...exciting!

don't use this trip opportunity to go somewhere that you could put down the $2,500 for yourself ... now is the time to do something interesting!

any how...

santiago and part of the chilean wine region (this is from '07)







a few very crooked photos from buenos aires












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Old
11-20-2012, 09:33 AM
  #1003
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UNWT, photos look great and thanks for the response.

Right now, she honestly has no idea what she wants to do. As much as I'd love to do something in SA, I don't see it happening on this trip. Right now I think a San Fran & Seattle combo trip is in the lead for what we'll actually do, but that could change any minute. I think what I'm going to try and float by is maybe flying out to SF, stay a few days, rent a car and drive to Portland, stay a night or two, and then drive up to Seattle. Total driving time won't be too bad, ~13 hours (without traffic) total, and I'm sure the scenery would be great.

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11-20-2012, 10:14 AM
  #1004
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Yeah, I only drove on the California portion of the Pacific Coast Highway but it is pretty amazing, a must if that is what you are going to do. I don't know about the 13 hours though. I'd just drive 3 hours and back in Cali but I'm sure the rest of it is pretty awesome too.

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11-20-2012, 10:26 AM
  #1005
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Yeah, I only drove on the California portion of the Pacific Coast Highway but it is pretty amazing, a must if that is what you are going to do. I don't know about the 13 hours though. I'd just drive 3 hours and back in Cali but I'm sure the rest of it is pretty awesome too.
13 hours split up over 2-3 days... so it wouldn't be that bad, especially since we'd be making a bunch of stops along the way. Neither of us have ever been out to CA, so the scenery alone should keep us busy for hours on end.

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11-20-2012, 10:46 AM
  #1006
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13 hours split up over 2-3 days... so it wouldn't be that bad, especially since we'd be making a bunch of stops along the way. Neither of us have ever been out to CA, so the scenery alone should keep us busy for hours on end.
Ok, gotcha, yeah, if you are going to be making extended stops then go for the whole thing. You'll love the scenery, I've been lucky to have been to a lot of places around the world and honestly that drive is right at the top with anything else. The redwood trees are amazing too, if I went back, I would want to walk through a prehistoric forest. There are a bunch of winding roads on cliffsides so you get a birds eye view of the ocean and beach. There are lighthouses you can go up in, great places to walk or hike and obviously great places to visit too. The Santa Cruz boardwalk was pretty cool. I wish I had more time to explore the coast, would love to get back there.

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11-20-2012, 10:59 AM
  #1007
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Ok, gotcha, yeah, if you are going to be making extended stops then go for the whole thing. You'll love the scenery, I've been lucky to have been to a lot of places around the world and honestly that drive is right at the top with anything else. The redwood trees are amazing too, if I went back, I would want to walk through a prehistoric forest. There are a bunch of winding roads on cliffsides so you get a birds eye view of the ocean and beach. There are lighthouses you can go up in, great places to walk or hike and obviously great places to visit too. The Santa Cruz boardwalk was pretty cool. I wish I had more time to explore the coast, would love to get back there.

Sounds awesome. Only place out west I've been to is Scottsdale for some golf and a Diamondbacks game. Went to San Antonio for a Final Four once too, but we pretty much never left the stadium area and hotel to really explore and enjoy the city for what it is.

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11-20-2012, 11:03 AM
  #1008
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Been to Mexico nine times, the Dominican, and the Bahamas (specifically the Atlantis) twice. All awesome places. Not really the biggest fan of going into town, but I had plenty of fun on the resort.

Biggest thing to know for all you people going to all-inclusives: book your on-resort dinner reservations right when you get there. If you're there a week, you usually only get to eat at the restaurants (things like an Italian, Cajun, Brazilian) four of the seven days. The other three are dedicated to eating at the main food restaurant open to everyone.

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Old
11-20-2012, 11:28 AM
  #1009
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Atlantis is that big fancy casino right? You stayed there, wow, I checked it out on a cruise but I have to imagine that was a great place to stay.

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11-20-2012, 11:32 AM
  #1010
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Atlantis is that big fancy casino right? You stayed there, wow, I checked it out on a cruise but I have to imagine that was a great place to stay.
Yes, but I didn't stay on the resort.

There is a hotel within easy walking distance that gives you full access to everything but obviously the hotel. It saved us $400 a night, and we stayed there a week. A little walk is worth saving $2,800, especially when you take into consideration the cheapest food deal was an $8 burger.

The trip wound up to be right around the same as a trip to Mexico or the Dominican.

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11-20-2012, 12:33 PM
  #1011
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I've been to Windsor, Ontario for about a half hour and New Zealand for three+ weeks.

Guess which trip was more memorable.

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11-20-2012, 12:37 PM
  #1012
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I've been to Windsor, Ontario for about a half hour and New Zealand for three+ weeks.

Guess which trip was more memorable.
Me and my buddies when we were 19 & 20, while I was still living in Chicago, would take weekend trips to Windsor and stay at a Days Inn that had the jail cell bars over the windows of out "hotel room." Even the non-smoking rooms smelt like a smoker had lived in there for 20+ years without ever washing their sheets. IIRC, rooms were like $35-40 a night, even on the weekend.... But hey, when you're not 21 yet... and a 4-5 hour drive away are casinos and bars you can legally get into, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Only thing that did suck about those trips, was that beers even inside the casino were like $4.

One of those trips I hate like a 3 pound burger at some ****** bar, for a free t-shirt (which was a Bud Light t-shirt in French) and what I'm pretty sure was a previously worn hat. Totally worth it.

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11-20-2012, 12:48 PM
  #1013
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Found a chinese place by my work, got a large shrimp lo mein (I think?). I usually always get shrimp chow fun but amazingly they didn't sell it at this one. Nevertheless, what I got is pretty good and the container for this stuff is freaking huge, must be a good 5 pounds. I was planning on eating it today and leaving it in the fridge for tomorrows lunch but there is so much, this is gonna end up being a huge dinner for me and girl on top of the two lunches. 10 bucks, what a steal.

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11-20-2012, 01:08 PM
  #1014
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Found out today the cake is loaded with mayo. Sounds gross, but I guess they'd put oil and eggs in anyways. Explains how they make it so moist.
Brilliantly devious of them. I hate mayo, but I know a lot of foods I can't stand alone can become fantastic ingredients. I keep hearing about this Portillo's Cake Shake.

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11-20-2012, 01:11 PM
  #1015
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Brilliantly devious of them. I hate mayo, but I know a lot of foods I can't stand alone can become fantastic ingredients. I keep hearing about this Portillo's Cake Shake.
DUDE, GO GET ONE ASAP. That thing is ****ing amazing. I have a Portillos about 10 min down the road and I go there JUST to get the shake. It's huge, only like 3 bucks and change and my God is that thing ****ing awesome.

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11-20-2012, 01:12 PM
  #1016
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Family is having ham steaks tonight, which means I'm either getting Lucky's or Maxwell Street. Decisions...

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11-20-2012, 01:16 PM
  #1017
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The cake shake is simply incredible. Words can't describe it. Saying it's like drinking chocolate cake doesn't do it justice.

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11-20-2012, 01:23 PM
  #1018
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I have had the normal chocolate cake but not the cake shake.

Is it a chocolate cake shake? If so, next time I go there, I am getting a bacon cheeseburger, a double hot dog, and one of those things.

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11-20-2012, 01:26 PM
  #1019
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I have had the normal chocolate cake but not the cake shake.

Is it a chocolate cake shake? If so, next time I go there, I am getting a bacon cheeseburger, a double hot dog, and one of those things.
Yes, it is a chocolate cake shake, that's what I always tell them when I order it. I don't know if they have a white or yellow one but the chocolate cake shake is the one I always get. Yeah, if you are getting the large, just get like 1 regular hot dog to go with it. The small is the better option if you are going to eat a lot.

Funny thing is, I've always heard about Portillo's cake but never have had it. But I have had myself a good 5 or 6 chocolate cake shakes and while I am sure the cake is pretty awesome, I prefer my Portillos cake in shake form, straw, no fork.

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11-20-2012, 01:31 PM
  #1020
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Alright. I'll get a small to try it out.

I have a tapeworm when I eat. Just got done eating Jimmy John's and am ready to snack.

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11-20-2012, 01:35 PM
  #1021
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Yeah, it's just that it's so rich. After a meal and a large chocolate cake shake, I'm laying on the damn couch for the night.

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11-20-2012, 04:38 PM
  #1022
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it will be a great trip for you. mexico is a wonderful place to visit - i've spent a lot of time there and i love.

if you're in playa i'd definitely suggest booking at least half a day at tulum (and bring your swim suits b/c as busy as it is, you can pick your peaceful spots - the great thing about tulum is that there's a small beach where, if you wander in, the footing is totally soft sand and the water's blue and calm).

i don't know if the will work well b/c i'm trying to post right back from facebook...

but here's a photo from the little beach my sister and i found at tulum. such a great spot!



glorious!
Appreciate the suggestion. That looks indeed glorious!

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11-20-2012, 08:24 PM
  #1023
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Thanksgiving menu just about complete, just need one more warm dessert and I'm good to go...


Apps:

-swiss and gruyere fondue, mixed with a roasted squash puree with a touch of freshly grated nutmeg. hoping to find a way to serve this inside a hallowed out squash... dipped with a freshly baked, sage infused baguette

-bread poppers stuffed with manchego cheese, made by hand... probably could use a dipping sauce, but need to try one first to see what will go best with it

-roasted red pepper and feta dip, to dip some carrots, celery, peppers, etc in

-cured meat platter and cheese

-shrimp cocktail, but with a romesco dipping suace instead of cocktail sauce.


Dinner:

-start things off with a chilled shot glass filled with a shot of a roasted squash curry soup, garnished with a fresh sprig of rosemary to hit the nasal senses mostly

-roasted leg of lamb, that I'll carve some garlic into baked with a rosemary bouquet with cranberry, blackberry, and coriander dipping sauce.

-turkey, stuffing, and honey baked ham of course, but spending minimal time with these... they're pretty bland on their own, and not a whole lot you can do with them as a whole

-ricotta and squash stuffed raviolis, with a sage and peppercorn browned butter sauce.. going to take ****ing forever tomorrow night to make enough raviolis to cover everyone

-sweet potato gratin with your typical Thanksgiving spices, and then I'll top it off with some pecans that I'm going to toss in a chipolte and cayenne pepper blend for a little kick

-a more standard potato gratin, with russetts. will use some manchego for the sauce, along with some fresh rosemary and thyme, then will shave some smoked gouda over the top of that.

-going to roast some baby carrots in an orange marmalade sauce, with a little hint of dill and ground mustard.


Dessert:

-pumpkin leche flan, with a roasted pumpkin seed crumble tossed with some freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon



no1curr

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11-20-2012, 08:26 PM
  #1024
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Originally Posted by RayP View Post
Thanksgiving menu just about complete, just need one more warm dessert and I'm good to go...


Apps:

-swiss and gruyere fondue, mixed with a roasted squash puree with a touch of freshly grated nutmeg. hoping to find a way to serve this inside a hallowed out squash... dipped with a freshly baked, sage infused baguette

-bread poppers stuffed with manchego cheese, made by hand... probably could use a dipping sauce, but need to try one first to see what will go best with it

-roasted red pepper and feta dip, to dip some carrots, celery, peppers, etc in

-cured meat platter and cheese

-shrimp cocktail, but with a romesco dipping suace instead of cocktail sauce.


Dinner:

-start things off with a chilled shot glass filled with a shot of a roasted squash curry soup, garnished with a fresh sprig of rosemary to hit the nasal senses mostly

-roasted leg of lamb, that I'll carve some garlic into baked with a rosemary bouquet with cranberry, blackberry, and coriander dipping sauce.

-turkey, stuffing, and honey baked ham of course, but spending minimal time with these... they're pretty bland on their own, and not a whole lot you can do with them as a whole

-ricotta and squash stuffed raviolis, with a sage and peppercorn browned butter sauce.. going to take ****ing forever tomorrow night to make enough raviolis to cover everyone

-sweet potato gratin with your typical Thanksgiving spices, and then I'll top it off with some pecans that I'm going to toss in a chipolte and cayenne pepper blend for a little kick

-a more standard potato gratin, with russetts. will use some manchego for the sauce, along with some fresh rosemary and thyme, then will shave some smoked gouda over the top of that.

-going to roast some baby carrots in an orange marmalade sauce, with a little hint of dill and ground mustard.


Dessert:

-pumpkin leche flan, with a roasted pumpkin seed crumble tossed with some freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon



no1curr
That sounds like the real deal man. How long have you been cooking?

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Old
11-20-2012, 08:32 PM
  #1025
RayP
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That sounds like the real deal man. How long have you been cooking?
About 5-6 years now, from a serious POV. I was unemployed, and living on my own... so I took on baking and making fresh pasta as a hobby to kill time, given how cheap it is to buy flour, yeast, and eggs... and that's really how it all started.

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